Reason Not to Go to Law School #21

Posted in Reasons Not to Go to Law School on January 23rd, 2010 by bl1y

Your classmates are experts on things they know nothing about.

Last weekend a Temple law student (Gerald Ung) was involved in a late-night, probably-drunken altercation.  The incident ended with the student pulling out a gun, then being rushed and shooting his attacker 5 times as he was tackled.  It’s still unclear how the mess got started and who exactly is at fault, but the story has provided plenty of evidence about how stupid law students are.  Commenters on AbovetheLaw.com have made several suggestions about what the Temple law student should have done rather than shooting:

“If Ung was so scared for his life, why didn’t he or the people he was with call 911 when the confrontation started?”

This person has obviously never had someone pick a fight with them or called the police for anything.  Not only would getting out your cell phone and calling the cops make you less able to defend yourself (kinda hard to fight and dial on your phone), but even if you did call the cops, there’d be plenty of time to whoop your ass before they showed up.  Maybe Ung’s choice of response was wrong, but calling 911 was almost surely not a useful alternative.

“I’d fire a warning shot first. Maybe one in the leg if he keeps coming, and run the hell away.”

If you’ve watched the video of the altercation, by the time Ung knows he’s being rushed there isn’t an opportunity to fire a warning shot.  But, what makes this comment particularly dumb is that your average law student isn’t going to have the marksmanship skills needed to put a bullet into the leg of someone who is running at him.  If you’re shooting in self defense, you aim for torso so you have a decent chance of hitting them.

“He shot the guy SIX times, people. SIX! Where is that ever justified self-defense? Maybe in an alternate universe where people are mastodons.”

If you get shot by a small caliber bullet, you don’t immediately drop to the ground like in a video game.  And, if you’re the one doing the shooting, you don’t have time for a sit-rep before deciding whether to shoot again.  You keep shooting until you know that you are safe.

“They’d rather shoot someone than get their a** kicked. The worst that would’ve happened to that weenie was he would have gotten a black eye.”

And from a different commenter:

“If there’s a choice betwen the two following scenarios:

Person A gets unjustifiably beaten to a pulp by Persons B, C, and D, but suffers no lasting physical damage and maybe just a broken bone or two; or

Same scenario, but Person A has a gun and shoots Persons B,C, and D before they can beat his ass, risking the lives of Persons B, C, and D,

I woudn’t want to be in the same hemisphere as anybody who’d think the latter scenario is preferable to the former scenario.”

Yeah…if you attack me, I’d much rather you get really hurt than me get kinda hurt.  That’s actually pretty reasonable.  If you’re not in the wrong, you shouldn’t have to get hurt to prevent the wrongful party from getting more hurt than the injury you’d be facing.

Also, if you think that getting attacked by a group of guys could at worst result in a black eye, you’re wrong.  The worst result is you get beaten to death.  Just last month a man was punched in the head in Philly and died from the injury.  Law student against the kind of juiced-up meat head who’d be doing chin-ups on the street at 2:00 in the morning?  I think a black eye would be the best case scenario, not the worst.

The people making these dumb comments are most likely law students or lawyers.  You’d think from having studied criminal law and torts (typically required first year courses), they’d have a little more insight into people defending themselves, or at least know that situations like this require a bit more thought to analyze properly.  But no, wimpy little law kids think they’re experts on everything, especially weapons and fighting and being tough.  That wouldn’t be so bad, except that they also like to raise their hand in class and make you listen to their dumb ideas, wasting time and making everyone around them dumber for having heard it.

Also, fun fact, did you know that Temple has a night school law program?  What a fucking joke.

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